By Isaac Fletcher, contributing writer, Food Online
With many driving factors, aseptic packaging is becoming an increasing popular packaging format, spurring growth and providing packaging manufacturers with numerous market opportunities.
Thanks largely to growing urbanization and a rising demand for convenience food products, the global aseptic packaging market is expected to reach a value of $62.46 billion by 2020, with an estimated CAGR of 10.66 percent. The market has also benefited from numerous technological advancements that have improved the format’s functionality and range of applications. Other key drivers include growth in the dairy beverage market and a changing consumer mindset regarding the use of preservatives.
The increasing demand around the globe for aseptic packaging products presents various opportunities for packaging manufacturers and other market players, including new product development and advancements in equipment and technologies. Market challenges include shifting environmental regulations across various regions, the cost to benefit ratio for small manufacturers, a high investment hurdle for research and development, and difficulty in managing the packaging supply chain.
Of the various aseptic packaging types — bottles, cans, pouches, and bags, among others — cartons are showing the highest rate of growth across the globe. The raw materials used in packaging creation include plastic, metal, glass, and paperboard.
Although highly fragmented, the market for aseptic packaging is dominated by larger firms. These larger companies have an advantage in the market due to their ability to provide advanced aseptic packaging products and leverage expertise to optimize production processes. Market players face restraints of steep initial capital investment and the need for a greater technological understanding compared to other packaging formats. These factors make it very difficult for new and smaller firms to get a foothold in the market.
In order to accommodate the rapidly changing technologies in application areas and increase market share, leading companies are pursuing strategies of expansion, investment, and divestiture. Additionally, mergers and acquisitions have played a role in filling gaps in product offerings and overcoming geographical constraints. Emerging markets that demonstrate the potential for industrial development have become key investment regions for market players. In particular, China is expected to be the fastest-growing market from 2015 to 2020. Primary regions for the aseptic packaging market are segmented as North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and rest of world.